Work Rights

It is vital that you know what your rights are when starting out on your career.

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Whether you are a fresher looking for a part-time job or an international student keen to get your first job in Australia, you need to know what you are entitled to.

Getting a Tax File Number

A tax file number (TFN) is a unique nine-digit number issued to you by the Australian Government so that you can work legally and pay tax.

A TFN must be supplied to an employer so they can pay tax on your behalf. If you are working for ‘cash in hand’, you are not protected by the law and may not be receiving the correct award wages.

To apply for a TFN or find out more information, visit the Australian Tax Office website.

What can you do to ensure you are protected at work?

When you accept a job offer, there are some things you and your employer should be clear on, including:

  • your agreed pay rate
  • your job duties
  • your employment status (e.g. full-time, part-time or casual work)
  • what time you will be starting and finishing work
  • how many hours you will be working per week
  • whether there is an award or registered agreement covering your job


While being paid in cash is not illegal, it is not encouraged, unless there is also a record in writing of the amount your employer is paying you each time. For more, see

Internships and Student Placements

Know how much you should be paid

If you are under 21 then you are entitled to junior wages. This is a sliding scale and differs for each industry.

If you are unsure of the pay scale you should be on, please visit:

Useful websites